Berau House of Representative gives the go ahead for the establishment of Berau Marine Protected Area
• Handoko Adi Susanto, Sekber
+62 554 22009, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tanjung Redeb, Berau (26/10) – The Berau House of Representatives (DPRD) has approved the establishment of the Berau marine protected area (MPA), at a hearing with the Steering Committee of Berau Coastal and Marine Management, held in Tanjung Redeb, Thursday, November 17, 2005. The hearing was attended by 30 participants comprising House members, Steering Committee members, officials from the district office for marine affairs and fisheries, district planning bureau, district natural resources conservation office, district tourism and cultural affairs office, Berau environment management board, and NGOs.
“The people of Berau have the major responsibility to secure the future of this region which plays a very important role in the world of fisheries and tourism, and most importantly provides livelihoods for our people,” said Muharram, Vice DPRD Berau. The Derawan archipelago is an integral part of the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion that stretches across Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. The region lies in the center of of the Coral Triangle representing the highest levels of coral biodiversity in the world and is the reefs and related coastal livelihoods are critically endangered, from continuing destructive and other unsustainable fishing practices. These islands also support the largest green turtle nesting and feeding ground in the Southeast Asia region.
The District Government of Berau, working together with the Steering Committee and other stakeholders, has drafted an outer boundary for the proposed protected area, and will soon be issuing a District Decree on the establishment of the MPA. During the hearing discussions, House members stressed the importance of intensive socialization of the proposed MPA to the people living within the area. Other items that need specific focus are: careful consideration of zoning in line with community and economic development needs, ensuring support for sustainable traditional fisheries, patrolling and law enforcement against illegal and destructive activities, development of alternative livelihoods, sustainable financing for MPA management, and creating strong legal foundations for marine conservation.
The House and the local government recognize the need to protect and manage the marine resources of the region, providing an example of a protected area that is initiated by local people through a bottom-up process. Such initiative is a key requirement in this decentralization era, and successful conservation of this region will benefit many stakeholders as well as the marine ecosystems in the short and long-term.
The Berau MPA will encompass the Derawan Archipelago and a zoning plan will be developed in close coordination with the communities living in the area. The zoning plan will include, different type of utilization and no-take areas. Traditional zones are areas where only small-scale traditional fishing is allowed, No-take zones are areas of critical habitat where no extractive activities will be allowed, usually covering areas where fish spawn and turtles nest. Other utilization zones are areas where legal types of fishing, tourism and other activities are allowed.
In meetings with community members in more than 25 coastal villages, fishers have informed the Steering Committee that the effort of catching fish has increased meanwhile the amount of catch decreases. They feel the need for management in more sustainable ways of marine resource use and welcome the initiative to establish an MPA. They stressed that they must be informed and allowed to give input to the placement and size of zoning areas and look forward to participating in the management of their resources.
Resource use monitoring that was carried out by the Joint Marine Programs of TNC-WWF-CRMP, showed that non-resident fishers catch more fish than local fishers, with revenues 20 times higher. This is because they use other fishing gears and spent more time fishing. With the establishment of an MPA, regulations that protect the interest of local fishers can be enacted, including for example regulating fishing gears and fees based on catches. **
Notes to Editor:
• The Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion ranks among the most diverse and productive marine systems in the world, and lies at the apex of the Coral Triangle. Recently recognized as a marine hotspot, the region has a huge variety of tropical marine habitat types, ranging from the fringing reefs surrounding its thousands of islands, to some of Southeast Asia’s largest and most intact stands of mangroves. The complex oceanography and tectonic history has produces unique features such as the jelly-fish lake at Kakaban in the Derawan Islands and a wide range of reef habitat types. These varied ecosystems nourish extreme biodiversity, with over 2000 species of marine fish recorded in the shallow waters of the Philippines and Indonesia alone, not to mention at least 400 known species of marine algae, 16 species of sea grass, 33 species of mangroves, at least 400 species of corals, five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles, and at least 22 species of marine mammals, including the endangered Dugong dugon and the rare Irrawaddy dolphin. It is also home to the prehistoric Indonesian coelacanth species, and the largest nesting populations of green turtles in Southeast Asia.
• Indonesia has signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Marine Turtles and their habitats of the Indian Ocean and South East Asia (IOSEA MoU). Under the MoU, the Signatory State commits to protect, conserve, replenish and recover marine turtles and their habitats, based on the best scientific evidence, taking into account its environmental, socio-economic and cultural characteristics. Indonesia is a home to six out of seven world’s turtles species: Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta), Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) and Flatback Turtle (Natator depressus). Derawan Islands complex provides important nesting and foraging grounds, as well as important migration routes as Indonesia lies at the cross roads of the Pacific and Indian Ocean.
• WWF, TNC and previously Proyek Pesisir, are helping to reduce the threats caused by illegal and destructive fishing practices by enhancing capacity of local government and communities to manage the area better enforcing existing Indonesian laws, and by raising awareness about the importance of protecting the area from destruction and non-sustainable practices for long-term benefits to local communities.
• The Steering Committee was established based on a Berau Regent Decree No. 225/2004. The Team is mandated to facilitate and socialize district regulations on integrated coastal resources management, facilitate the formation of a Joint Committee for the management of a marine protected area, and serve as a communications, consultation and coordination vehicle in integrated coastal and marine management. The Team comprises the regent of Berau, deputy regent of Berau, district secretary, head of the Berau Office for Fisheries and Marine Affairs, Head of the District Planning Office, tourism and cultural office, Bapelda Bereau, BKSDA Berau, Berau Forestry office, and Joint Secretariat consisting of NGOs Bestari, Kalbu, Mitra Pesisir, WWF, TNC and Kehati.Document Related:
Press Release (pdf) 43 kb
Infosheet (pdf) 178 kb